I enjoy this, but seldom have the inclination or cash to buy in.

Well, for this one, Stained, I have the inclination, but not the cash.

But hey, I can at least point other people to it so they can enjoy...

Oh, the first payday on the new job won't be until the 25th...

There are others, as well, and I really should highlight them now and again.
A guy started "Rural America Onshore Outsourcing

Yeah, they pay less then the cities do, but rents are cheaper too...

People are finally leveraging our infrastructure and education. Too bad the GOP wants to fritter it all away in the name of "don't tax me, it's MY money" (that they made because of the infrastructure paid for by others before them...)
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Agriprocessors Trial: Underage Workers Describe BRUTAL Working Conditions At Iowa Plant

Yeah, first they start it with illegals, but strong unions would prevent it from even getting started.

This happens a lot now. There are sweatshops in the US. Not all of them just hire illegals. Corporations had their buddies in the GOP bust union power, so we get screwed by outsourcing, H1(b), and sweatshops.

For every one they catch, there are probably five more.

Welcome to the USA, the newest third world country.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Apr. 6th, 2009 02:56 pm)
I got laid off today.

I rather expected it - we were actually overstaffed for what they wanted us to do. They were going more toward using the $parentcompany 's infrastructure, which is MicroSoft mostly. I do not excel at end user support.

I have three months severance, with COBRA, so I'm not too close to desperation yet.

So, I'm looking. Linux/Unix sysadmin, including VMWare and RedHat Enterprise Linux. I use Windows through XP, but I'd rather not support it. I have some basic, although dated, Cisco experience. I've tried very hard not to stagnate, so I am familiar with Ruby on Rails and various other admin technologies.

Also, I will be restarting my soap and candle making, maybe some other stuff. My creative itch needs to be scratched something fierce.

So, I'm bummed, and relieved, at the same time. I was there for over 4 years, which is forever in the IT field. I was past the point of burnout.

After a week or two of reset, I will be looking for a new and exciting job where I can once again make a difference. I'm a builder, and expander, not a helpdesk associate, and I know it. I want to build something, or take it from startup to world class.
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ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Feb. 2nd, 2009 10:16 am)
Seriously. There is no longer a "shortage" of "qualified" American tech workers. Massive numbers of qualified, current American workers are unemployed, costing the state money in UI benefits, losing their houses, becoming homeless, or working at Starbucks. All this while the high flying H1(b) people are still employed. This is just plain wrong.

I don't think there ever was a "shortage", frankly. Sure, people might not have met the hideous laundry lists that the companies "required". (Secret - neither did the H1(b) candidates that got hired, either, but the body shop/H1b pimps faked up their resumes!) But most of those people that are often turned down in favor of high-tech carpetbaggers have been older, with transferable skills and THE ABILITY TO LEARN. Really, even if you have the laundry list, you still have to learn that company's specific implementation and development system, so there's no time savings in hiring the H1(b).

So why not hire and train seasoned American workers? Oh, yeah, they want to be paid what they're worth. 10 years experience is really worth more than 2, people. Sure, you can get an H1(b) with under two years experience for cheap, rather than an overqualified, but not fitting the laundry list, American at a higher wage. But the American actually has a track record, and has just maybe (read probably) seen a similar situation before.

You ever wonder why MicroSoft and other companies have crappy software? Because they hire primarily RCGs and H1(b)s without any seasoning, and discard them when they have 4 years experience.

Seriously, people, we produce plenty of fine engineering talent right here. A little investment in keeping it current, and you avoid the overhead of H1(b), and are doing something for the country that gave you birth and the people that actually buy your products. Face it, if all of the American technocrats are reduced to working low wage service jobs or signing on the street corners (or eventually rioting), there won't be any around to buy your nifty new toys.

If I had my own company, I would hire only locally, and only hire citizens or green card holders. No "national" searches, no relocation, no immigration, no visas or visa sponsorship. I would hire as much for the ability to work with a team as I would for purely technical matchup. OK, so if they didn't know Java, I'd hire someone who knew C++ and send them to a Java class, or vice versa. If I wanted a php programmer and they knew perl, but fit with my team, I'd hire them and send them to a php class. Either way, I'd get the better long term employee, for a small investment.

But most of these quarterly profit driven, short sighted, idiots miss that.
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ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2009 11:32 am)
Requiring a Windows only tool (VMware Infrastructure Client) to manage an otherwise Linux-only server virtualization system is like requiring a pig to lead a procession of Arabian show horses. Epic fail.

Please develop a client based on Java, not Active (he)X, that runs on nearly any OS, not just frigging Windows. The actual virtualization platform is based on RHEL 3, why can't you make a client that runs on Mac and Linux as well?

If I were deciding what virtualization software to run on my network, you would lose the bid because of this, no matter how good the rest of your stuff was.

I seldom log in to my windoze box here at work. I hate it. If I try to run remote desktop to it, it bogs down my real, Linux computer. Can you say Do Not Want!?
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ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Nov. 26th, 2008 10:51 am)
Sometime in January, I want to change jobs. If you know of companies that will be hiring in that time-frame, let me know, and I'll point you to my resume. This post is public for a reason.

My desires in a new job are as follows:

Salary: $95+, plus ? Prefer $100K (I'm only making $88K plus whatever stock I get now. Last year I reported $100K, but the extra was all paper.) My tax bracket is that of a SINK, my expenses are those of a head of household.

Benefits: Need DP benefits, regular employment. No Kaiser, reasonable cost share.

Location: SF Bay Area, sane commute by car or train. No multi-system transfers and long walking - I'm a gimp.

Company: No flash-in-the-pan or quarterly profit focused meatgrinders. Serious five year plans, even though they might change, are good to have.

Duties/Environment (the really important stuff):
* Linux/Unix systems engineering, maybe some Mac stuff too.
* No %&^#%& Windows support duties. I'll use it if I have to, but I won't support Windows, MS Office, IIS, AD or other Windows software. Nevermore, Quothe the Ravan. No lusers, please.
* Congenial team who actually communicates - no prima donnas or cowboys
* Low politics - I want to work, not play ego games
* Responsibilities for systems must be coupled with control and authority to change systems. I won't be responsible for stuff I can't get root access to, period.
* I like building and tweaking things. I want time to do it right, not be condemned to do it over.
* Work/life balance - I'll do the occasional weekend or marathon week, but not all the time. Life's to short to spend all of it at work.
* Company that treats its employees (and customers) like adults, not children who need to be watched, monitored, measured and controlled. I will not participate in establishing or maintaining web filtering, email filtering/snooping, draconian DRM, or any form of spamming type marketing. This is not negotiable. All of these may be "legal", but don't pass my ethics test.

Nice to have (the more match, the happier I am):
* Work from home days. Sure, I'll do on-call, but it would be really nice if I could use my own Linux box to log in, rather than have to wank with a Windows laptop. RSA keys make for nice OTP generators.
* Cell phone and broadband assistance. Seriously, if you want me to be able to log in from home, or get email anywhere, you need to pony up the money, and buy me a crackberry.
* Commuter benefits and shuttles - if I need to take the train, give me a Go Pass and a lift from the train station if it's over a block or two away.
* Company needs to allow work on Open Source projects without "mother may I" hoops to jump through just to do documentation and low-level stuff.
* Charitable matching - I have a pet 501(c)3 - educational - that gets lots of my money. I should be able to hit the company up for donations.
* Hire me for a senior or leadership role, please. I'm really wanting to get into management. I believe I've got the people skills to do it, even if I may seem a bit gruff and irritable.

My job needs are informed by getting burned, and burned out, at several companies. If you think they're excessive, I would remind you that I've actually had health problems from craptastic jobs, and I can't afford it any more. I have to look out for number one, because no one else will.
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ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Apr. 9th, 2008 01:57 pm)
With recession looming large, I think it's time to review the magical job search.

1) When using magic in a job hunt, you don't just sit at home and cast spells. The magic has to have something to work on.

The key is your resume. Write your resume in a meditative state, focusing on who you are, what skills you have to offer, and what you want in return. Infuse the words with that "perfect job match" energy. The clear visualization of what you want in a job, both standard and intangible, will be an anchor for your job search, and will be what all the rest of your efforts hook into.

Write your cover letters and emails the same way. Do your homework, visualize working at that type of job. You can put energy into email - do it. You wanbt to load it, and the attached resume, with a "I can do this well" type of energy.

When you get a phone screen, visualize yourself working for or with the person. Smile, even on the phone. Mentally reach out and meet them. Don't try to control them, that can backfire very nastily.

When you go for an interview, plan to arrive early. When you get ready, put on your clothes like you were going to a ritual - get in the working mindspace. When you get there, spend a few minutes in meditation, reviewing your skills, your desire for the job, your willingness to work, your competence, and work your magic on yourself to make yourself a successful candidate in everyone's eyes.

2) Use your magic to bring job leads your way.

Your intuition and divination will help you find the right people who know the right people to open the doors so you can wow them with your magical resume.

Yes, spells to attract "people who need what you have to offer" will help find those contacts. Enchanted business cards, set to gravitate to people who need your skills, are handy.

Keeping a good list of contacts is helpful. You do it for your pagan network, do it for your work too. You might be surprised at the overlap.

3) Be a job nexus.

I actually try to keep track of who is looking for what kind of work among my pagan and fannish friends. I will refer people to headhunters who contact me with something that is not up my alley, but is up someone theirs.

This in its own way is a form of contagion magic - the more a concept of "person X is looking for Y kind of work" is out there, the more it gains momentum. It's like viral marketing with a magical component.

4) If you are unemployed, use magical practices to help your financial discipline.

Concentration, will, focus, planning - we use all of these magically, now it's time to use them to help manage our funds, and to attract good financial luck. Yes, we should use these all the time, but it's especially important when out of work.

Affirmations and rituals for work and money also help to ease the anxiety involved. Alone, they don't solve the problem, you still have to actually look for work. However, they do help focus on saving money and finding work, and give you the knowledge that you are using *all* of your resources to solve the problem.

Note: I do not mention deities, or specific rituals here. That is up to each individual and their magical/religious practice. YMMV, of c ourse.
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ravan: by ravan (stormclouds)
( Jan. 21st, 2008 02:16 pm)
We don't get MLK day off. Waah. It's raining, and I wanna go home and curl up with a book.

The fact that we got back from Sacramento at about 1:30 in the morning may have something to do with it.
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ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Dec. 20th, 2007 12:33 pm)
1) Our LDAP server at work has been playing cheap whore again. I have got to find the jerk with the roll of quarters.

2) LJ is going insane. They admitted to censoring search terms, but that they won't gibe the list, they won't change it, and they won't tell us why. So terms like "Main Coon", "raccoon", "fag hag" and "genocide" are not searchable, but "nazi", "porn" and "incest" are. Weird.

3) The new "Live Journal, Inc." still has no web page, or job postings.

4) I may get a perm account at Insane Journal, and syndicate it here.
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ravan: (Kitten Bag - siliconshaman)
( Nov. 1st, 2006 01:43 pm)
Yahoo has a new article about workplace bullying: http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20061031/sc_space/studyofficebulliescreateworkplacewarzone (Link courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] fiona64.)

One of the salient paragraphs is this:
Workplace bullying can include “screaming, cursing, spreading vicious rumors, destroying the target’s property or work product, excessive criticism, and sometimes hitting, slapping, and shoving.” Subtle behaviors, such as silent treatment, disregard of requests and exclusion from meetings, count as bullying.
I've had many of these happen to me during my working life, especially spreading vicious rumors, destroying the target’s property or work product, excessive criticism. Another one I'm familiar with is
The bullies were described as two-faced actors, narcissistic dictators and devils, leading workers to feel like vulnerable children, slaves and prisoners in these situations. As one employee explained, "I feel like I have 'kick me' tattooed on my forehead."
Been there.

But, like with so many others, it offers no solutions to the problem. Hell, the only one I know of is leaving.

Complaining usually doesn't work, because it's very hard to explain why criticism from one person is normal, but another person is vicious, constant, and abusive. It's not just what they say and do, it's how. The stress of being constantly under a microscope, constantly judged harshly, constantly criticized, constantly undercut and second-guessed, is horrific. Dealing with a passive-aggressive bully and management that plays along is degrading.

As I told one woman after a degrading, bully filled temp assignment: "I can probably make more money signing on a streetcorner, and it wouldn't be as bad for my health."

If you're experiencing bullying and stress-related illness, talk with your doctor. Document what effect the job is having on you, both with your doctor and in your own papers. It may come in useful if you have to apply for stress-related disability from it. I wish I had 20 years ago.

I'm glad that my current job is not like that. It has its ups and downs, but I don't have to deal closely with any of our bullies (and one just left....)
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ravan: (insane)
( Oct. 31st, 2006 11:28 am)
Purple camo BDU pants, purple came t-shirt, purple hair. I'm hiding among the purples for Halloween...
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Just got through reading Is It Fair to Cater Solely to Employees With Kids? from ABC. I thought it was good, but didn't go very deep.

Disclaimer: I'm sans kids. I have family and friends who aren't.

A lot of companies tout their benefits for parents. Some even go so far as to make all of their non-work functions kid friendly, to the point of kid centered. Some definitely do have a tendency to cut the childed *much* more slack on hours and stuff. I can even understand some of it. Jane won't be productive at work if she's always on the phone with her sick kid. Joe won't be productive when he has to worry about missing a parent teacher conference.

But the childfree and empty nesters have outside lives too. Really. Some people are taking care of elderly parents, or sick spouses. Some have heavy volunteer commitments, or just plain lives outside of work. So why do some companies get their shorts in a know when a kidless person needs to take off early for a non-work commitment? A commitment is a commitment, regardless of whether it involves the person's kids or not.

As the article points out, some companies are starting to emphasize benefits that make the work/life balance easier on *all* employees. This is actually good, because it stops assuming that all outside needs have to do with kids. For example, my $Company just combined their "sick leave" and PTO pools. This removes the value judgements from why a person is out - the leave all comes from the same place, and rewards those who don't get sick as often with more vacation (no, I'm not usually one of those, but my health has been better in the last year than the year before.)

Flexible hours are great in general. Yes, for certain types of jobs they just won't work. But there is something viscerally demeaning to me about punching a time clock. For people with outside responsibilities, or public transit commutes, it's a burden. (I don't know of a single transit system that truly runs on time. The best just run so often that it doesn't matter.)

But back to the parents and non in the workplace. When I was younger, a lot of times it was assumed that a) I would be available to work longer because I didn't have kids, and b) I would get "my turn" when (not if) I had kids. Noxious. Often I didn't mind too much, since I was hourly, but after a while it got annoying. Now, I have a manager who has kids. Does he expect me to carry his load? No, he manages his schedule so that he can do his family stuff (including his turn picking up the kids after work) and still get his work done. That's called maturity, folks. It's a good thing to have when raising kids.

More to come...
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ravan: (GeekDance)
( Feb. 9th, 2006 09:11 am)
Several Linux Haiku

Auditd

System refusing
Any authentication
Auditd must die

Raid

NFS fubar
Reboot the stupid machine
Terrabyte to fsck

OpenSSH

New version coming
Built-in VPN tunnel
Corporate hates this

Debian Sarge

Burning install disks
Pocket size and bootable
I always lose them
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ravan: by icons r us (flamethrower - from icons r us)
( Jan. 11th, 2006 08:56 am)
Dear City of Palo Alto,

Thanks to your incompetence or laziness, it took me over an hour to drive from Sunnyvale to downtown Palo Alto. From the moment I crossed into Palo Alto to the moment I reached downtown proper, Every goddamn light was flashing red!! That meant that every doofus had to stop, and do the "is it my turn yet" at every friggin' intersection!!

You had no police out to direct traffic, and relieve congestion, as far as I could tell. I saw a couple patrol cars, and they just continued on their merry way to a date with the donut shop. What were you thinking! At least the railroad crossings worked, but they aren't maintained by you.

If you like your tax base (businesses), you might want to revisit your archaic and assinine traffic policies.

No love,

Me.

P.S.: Even if I'd taken the train, I would have been risking my life to cross the street to get to work.
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ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Oct. 17th, 2005 12:15 pm)
In resume's, that is. I am astounded at a) how many people can't handle basic singular/plural and tense (trainings, experiences, present instead of past for old jobs), b) how many people have long resumes that say little, and c) how many apparently senior people will apply for a fairly junior job, even though they are currently working in their field. The female to male ratio is a bit dissapointing, too. For a Craigslist advertised job, only two out of 26 seem to be female.

I'm so glad I'm not in recruiting, my eyes would bleed.
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